In most buying/selling transactions there will be two Realtors, one who represents the seller, and the other who represents the buyer. As a buyer, your Realtor will show you homes and put together offers on properties you want to buy. Once you have an accepted offer from the seller they will help you negotiate price, repairs, and other terms of the sales contract. They will also guide you through the legalese and timelines from offer acceptance to closing.
Once you have an accepted offer, independent home inspectors are people you voluntarily hire to inspect the home to insure there are no major structural issues. They are general home inspectors, not specialists, so they may advise you to obtain a specialist if they find something that requires more expertise. For example: if they find funny looking electrical wiring they may advise you to seek out an electrician to further clarify the issue and propose a solution before moving forward with your purchase.
Green Family Mortgage is a mortgage broker. We analyze your financial situation and work with you to determine the best financial strategy in buying a home. We then help you obtain home loan financing by shopping different lenders to find one with competitive interest rates and a program to fit your needs. Once we find a lender, we handle all the loan processing, negotiation, and communication between you, the lender, and the closing company to secure you the loan. We are your main point of contact and advice from prequalification through closing.
Lenders are the institutions that provide the actual funding for your loan. They are divided into retail and wholesale divisions. Retail divisions are typically big banks and credit unions that have brick and mortar operations open to the public. Wholesale divisions are where mortgage brokers, like Green Family Mortgage, access mortgage funding. Wholesale divisions typically offer lower interest rates and better mortgage terms on the market (partially because they don't have the expenses of brick and mortar operations).
Underwriters are employees of the lender that look at all of your financial information, and information about the property, to approve or deny you a loan. They work directly with Green Family Mortgage, from submission through closing, to clear all conditions necessary to fund your loan. (see Loan Process for more information).
Appraisers provide an estimate of value (an appraisal) of the home you are purchasing or refinancing. Most lenders require an appraisal to verify that the home is worth what you are paying for it. During a home purchase, an appraisal needs to come in at or above sales price in order to approve the funding of your loan. In a refinance, an appraisal is used to determine a home's value and how much equity the borrower has in the property. Value and equity will determine the terms of the refinance and which refinance options may be available.
Title & Escrow
The Title & Escrow company is the neutral third party between the buyer, seller, lender, mortgage broker, Realtors, and anyone else who may be involved in the transaction. The title company performs lien searches and issues title insurance to insure that the title of the home is legally passed free and clear from seller to buyer with no liens, judgments or any other encumbrances.
Their escrow duties include holding all of the money in the transaction (down payment deposits, payments due to third parties, funds from the lender, proceeds to the seller) until closing, and then disbursing all monies due to the appropriate parties upon closing. They also perform the final signing of the loan and sales documents at their offices.
In some states the title company and the escrow company are two different companies or are handled by lawyers. In Oregon and Washington it typically happens all under one roof.